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17-Nov-2016 17:15

At its height, in the 1980s, more than 18 million viewers tuned in to a show that was one of TV's heaviest hitters. The ITV show remained mostly unchanged from the formats that inspired it – apart from the introduction of "ditch or date", which involved the picker being able to dump their date after seeing what they looked like.When , the show in which women from the city vied for the attention of a farmer, did not do well here, but it became one of Fremantle Media's biggest sellers in international markets., the British public has fallen in love with a genre that mixes the suspense of "Will they, won't they?" with nervous singles blurting out naff chat-up lines.Other dating shows included have crossed into dating-­show territory through their in-show relationship storylines.Shows such as The Only Way Is Essex have crossed into dating-­show territory Meanwhile, dating shows have split into three factions: traditional studio shows, such as has been such a success because it had been a long time coming," opines Suzy Lamb, Head of Entertainment at Thames and one of the show's executive producers.

"We have a fantastic casting team and a lot of it is done through social media," explains Chapman."Often, you'll find there is a whole section of a club scene where people are all talking on Twitter and Instagram, and they've all been out with each other." (originally shown on ITV1) is certainly the gentlest of the lot.The show sees a singleton choose three out of five menus and proceed to have dinner at the mystery chefs' houses, before taking one lucky romantic out for a meal they don't have to cook.The dating show has evolved into a many-headed beast, but one thing that has remained the same, according to Lamb, Chapman and Collinson-Jones, is that, to be successful, audiences must be able to laugh along with contestants.It seems that what doesn't work is to ignore the rules set out 50 years ago by was scrapped after it offended many viewers by laughing at others, using abusive language and having a host who rejected any attempt at finding love.

"We have a fantastic casting team and a lot of it is done through social media," explains Chapman.

"Often, you'll find there is a whole section of a club scene where people are all talking on Twitter and Instagram, and they've all been out with each other." (originally shown on ITV1) is certainly the gentlest of the lot.

The show sees a singleton choose three out of five menus and proceed to have dinner at the mystery chefs' houses, before taking one lucky romantic out for a meal they don't have to cook.

The dating show has evolved into a many-headed beast, but one thing that has remained the same, according to Lamb, Chapman and Collinson-Jones, is that, to be successful, audiences must be able to laugh along with contestants.

It seems that what doesn't work is to ignore the rules set out 50 years ago by was scrapped after it offended many viewers by laughing at others, using abusive language and having a host who rejected any attempt at finding love.

Essentially speed dating en masse, the show's format involves a male contestant choosing his date from 30 women.